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Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications

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  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

overview of how taxation affects household portfolio structure. It begins by outlining six aspects of portfolio behavior that may be influenced by the tax system. These are asset selection, asset allocation, borrowing, asset location in taxable and tax-deferred accounts, asset turnover, and whether to hold assets directly or through financial intermediaries. The analysis considers how ignoring tax considerations may bias estimates of how other variables, such as income or net worth, affect the structure of household portfolios. The paper then describes the tax rules that apply to various portfolio instruments in a range of major industrialized nations. This illustrates the wide variation in the potential impact of tax rules on portfolio choice. Finally, the paper selectively reviews the existing evidence on how taxation affects portfolio choice. A small but growing literature, primarily based on the analysis of U.S. data, suggests that taxes have important effects on several aspects of portfolio choice. There remain a number of decisions, however, for which it appears difficult to reconcile household choices with tax-efficient behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Poterba, 2001. "Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications," NBER Working Papers 8223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8223
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    1. Agell, Jonas & Edin, Per-Anders, 1990. " Marginal Taxes and the Asset Portfolios of Swedish Households," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(1), pages 47-64.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rob Alessie & Stefan Hochguertel & Arthur van Soest, 2004. "Ownership of Stocks and Mutual Funds: A Panel Data Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 783-796, August.
    2. Fenaba Addo, 2014. "Debt, Cohabitation, and Marriage in Young Adulthood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1677-1701, October.
    3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax Incentives to Saving and Borrowing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3881, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Christopher D. Carroll, 2000. "STATA code for Portfolios of the Rich," QM&RBC Codes 41, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
    5. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
    6. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    7. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "Dividend Policy inside the Firm," NBER Working Papers 8698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sule Alan & Søren Leth-Petersen, 2006. "Tax Incentives and Household Portfolios: A Panel Data Analysis," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 163, McMaster University.
    9. Marius Brülhart & Jonathan Gruber & Matthias Krapf & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2016. "Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 5966, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala & Winnie Fung, 2005. "Taxation and the Evolution of Aggregate Corporate Ownership Concentration," NBER Working Papers 11469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Rosen, H.S.Harvey S. & Wu, Stephen, 2004. "Portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 457-484, June.
    12. Erik Floor & Arjan Lejour, 2014. "Saving behavior and risk taking: Evidence from the Dutch Tax Reform in 2001," CPB Discussion Paper 273, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2002. "Incentives to Borrow and the Demand for Mortgage Debt: An Analysis of Tax Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 90, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    14. repec:kap:rqfnac:v:49:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11156-016-0589-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Gallmeyer, Michael F. & Kaniel, Ron & Tompaidis, Stathis, 2006. "Tax management strategies with multiple risky assets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 243-291, May.
    16. Martins, Nuno C. & Villanueva, Ernesto, 2006. "The impact of mortgage interest-rate subsidies on household borrowing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1601-1623, September.
    17. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2002. "Tax Incentives for Household Saving and Borrowing," CSEF Working Papers 83, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    18. Nuno C. Martins & Ernesto Villanueva, 2003. "The impact of interest-rate subsidies on long-term household debt: Evidence from a large program," Economics Working Papers 713, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    19. Papke, Leslie E., 2004. "Individual financial decisions in retirement saving plans: the role of participant-direction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 39-61, January.
    20. Saarimaa, Tuukka, 2005. "Taxation and Debt Financing of Home Acquisition: Evidence from the Finnish 1993 Tax Reform," Discussion Papers 366, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    21. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2007. "Taxes and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from JGTRRA's Treatment of International Dividends," NBER Working Papers 13281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Paiella, Monica & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2007. "Choosing Between Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp07033, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
    23. Savaş ÇEVİK, 2015. "Domestic Saving and Tax Structure: Evidence from Turkey," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 23(23).
    24. Torfinn Harding & Haakon O. Aa. Solheim & Andreas Benedictow, 2004. "House ownership and taxes," Discussion Papers 395, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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